Jake Chanen Wins 96th Arizona Amateur Championship at Desert Forest Golf Club
143-yard pitching wedge to two feet on the 18th hole sealed Chanen’s second Arizona Amateur
CAREFREE, Ariz. – Jake Chanen showed the heart and determination of a champion at Desert Forest Golf Club Saturday, winning the 96th Arizona Amateur Championship 1 up over Chris Kamin. The win is Chanen’s second career Arizona Amateur title, after winning at Tonto Verde Golf Club in 2018.
“It was awesome, that was a battle and I really enjoyed it,” Chanen said after the match. “It’s a great feeling and I’ll definitely remember this for a while.”
The 18th hole was a microcosm of the entire match. Kamin found the middle of the fairway with his tee shot, while Chanen had to punch out from behind a tree off the right side of the fairway, and appeared to be in trouble. But with a bit of mud on his ball, Kamin’s approach sailed left of the green to the dirt cart path.
Chanen’s third shot from 143 yards out with a pitching wedge won’t soon be forgotten, finishing two feet from the cup to apply the pressure. Kamin was unable to get up and down for par, and Chanen won the match after Kamin conceded Chanen’s short par putt.
“Whatever I think I could have done or would have done differently, Jake hit a really great shot on 18,” said Kamin of his opponent’s approach on 18. “Hitting that, he deserved to win it on that hole. There’s always a part of me that says, ‘I coulda-shoulda-woulda.’ But overall it was a really good week.”
Kamin started the match 2 up after two holes, before Chanen won the next two holes to tie through four. A roller coaster of a match saw Kamin 1 up through 8, but mud on his ball in the 9th fairway pushed it right into the cactus, forcing an unplayable an allowing Chanen to tie the match at the turn.
Kamin started the back nine much like the front, winning two of the first three holes to go up two through 12. Chanen responded by taking the 13th hole to go down one, setting the stage for a match-changing 16th hole.
Chanen hit driver to the middle of the fairway, then crushed a hybrid into the right greenside bunker, short-siding himself. Kamin meanwhile hit three straight irons to the middle of the green, setting up a birdie putt. But Chanen was able to get up and down from eight feet for birdie, and Kamin’s birdie putt went inches by the hole to even the match.
“That bunker shot was definitely hands-down the best of my life,” said Chanen, a recent Grand Canyon University graduate. “It was a tough lie to a super elevated green. I had nothing to work with, and I just tried to get it up there and make a putt, and I was able to do that.”
Chanen and Kamin would have 15-foot birdie putts on 17 to take the lead, but both came inches from falling, leaving the match tied and setting the stage for the epic 18th hole.
“It hurts right now, and it will hurt for a while,” said Kamin. “But Jake played well, and as disappointed as I am for me, I am happy for him.”
Full Bracket and scores from the week of the 96th Annual Arizona Amateur Championship can be found by clicking here. Full recaps can be found on the Arizona Golf Association website. And a wide selection of content from each day of the tournament can be found on the AGA’s social media channels: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.